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Houston Texans Training Camp Day 2

Multiple high draft picks and several free-agent additions should make the Texans better than they were last season.

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans kicked off training camp on Friday in preparation for the 2022-23 NFL season.

Training camp will once again be hosted at the Houston Methodist Training Center across the street from NRG Stadium on Kirby Drive.

This year, eight training camp practices will be free and open to all fans, including this morning’s session. However, tickets are still required to enter.

While several dates are already sold out, there are still tickets available for a couple of the practices in August.

Houston Texans Training Camp schedule

Here are the dates of the open practices:

  • Friday, July 29
  • Saturday, July 30
  • Tuesday, August 2
  • Wednesday, August 3
  • Friday, August 5
  • Saturday, August 6
  • Tuesday, August 9
  • Wednesday, August 10.

All practices will begin at approximately 8 a.m.

RELATED: Houston Texans unveil new alternate helmets for Battle Red uniforms

UPDATES FROM DAY 2

The Texans are back on the field for the second day of training camp, and they've brought out the new headgear -- the battle red helmets, which are new this year.

Houston Texans Training Camp Day One Recap

Improvement.

That's what Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith is looking for during training camp.

"Everything we do, we video and we dissect it, and you just want to see improvement," the first-year coach said on the first day of camp. "That's all we ask our players to do."

Several players, including cornerback and No. 3 overall pick Derek Stingley Jr., are coming off injuries and will be brought along slowly.

"We are not putting (Stingley) through every practice but he's getting some," said Smith. "We'll continue to get him and more. (End) Jonathan Greenard is coming off a major injury."

Smith once again emphasized he has confidence in quarterback Davis Mills, now in his second season. Not just as a player, but also a leader. 

"He leads everything," said Smith. "You see him first to do everything and then making plays, it's established who your leaders are on both sides of the ball.

"Davis Mills is getting my vote for captain."

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the Texans' best player, also expects improvement from Mills. Cooks also said he wants to remain a Texan, due to the club's management. 

"I believe in everything (general manager) Nick Caserio is doing," he said. "I have some history with him and I believe in everything that he's doing. You know, I want to be a part of that, and Coach Lovie."

The day was all about football and the future. No sideshow, as was the case last season with Deshaun Watson on the roster, but who was not interested in being part of the team.

It was an improvement.

"I'll tell you this the Texans won today," said Smith. "I'm going to feel pretty good one way or the other each play. But there's a lot of things, a lot of guys have been showing up, showing out and making plays."

Houston Texans Training Camp Preview

The Texans won just four games for the second straight season after winning the AFC South the previous two seasons, costing coach David Culley his job after just one year. With QB Deshaun Watson sitting out last season amid a trade request and multiple lawsuits from women alleging sexual harassment or assault, the Texans relied on Tyrod Taylor early before giving rookie Davis Mills a chance at quarterback. Ineffective play at quarterback paired with a defense that ranked near the bottom of the NFL in the first season without star J.J. Watt left the Texans as one of the league’s worst teams.

Key additions

Coach Lovie Smith, DB Derek Stingley, Jr., OL Kenyon Green, DB Jalen Pitre, RB Dameon Pierce, RB Marlon Mack, QB Kyle Allen, LB Christian Harris, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, WR Chris Conley, DE Jerry Hughes, CB Steven Nelson, DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE Rasheem Green, RG A.J. Cann, LB Blake Cashman.

Key losses

Watson, S Justin Reid, CB Lonnie Johnson, Jr., RB David Johnson, TE Jordan Akins, DE Jacob Martin, QB Tyrod Taylor, CB Terrance Mitchell, S A.J. Moore.

RELATED: Houston Texans rookie wide receiver announces leukemia diagnosis

Training camp needs

Now that Watson has been traded to Cleveland, the Texans are focused on developing Mills. Houston has committed to him as the starter for this season, but he’ll need to show that he’s made progress in camp after a subpar rookie season. The Texans expect Stingley, the third overall pick in the draft, to step in immediately to improve their secondary, which makes his work in camp particularly important.

Key competitions

Houston has had the worst running game in the NFL for the past two seasons but made some additions this offseason to attempt to improve it with Johnson gone. Mack is expected to be the starter, but Pierce, a fourth-round pick, could use a good camp to earn some carries behind him and veteran Rex Burkhead this season. Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill are two of the team’s starting linebackers but performance in camp will determine the last spot. Christian Harris, a third-round pick, and offseason acquisition Maybin, are two of the top options for the job.

Expectations

Multiple high draft picks and several free-agent additions should make the Texans better than they were last season. Smith, the team’s former defensive coordinator, is committed to turning around the defense and believes the additions of Stingley and Pitre, a second-round pick, can transform a secondary that was terrible last year. If the rookies improve the defense and Mills takes a step forward in Year 2, Houston should win a few more games than last season, but it’s unlikely that this young team will be good enough to contend for the playoffs.

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LIVE UPDATES FROM DAY 1

Following the latest updates for the KHOU 11 Sports crew out at practice:

We also got to hear from the head coach Lovie Smith this morning.

The No. 3 overall pick Derek Stingley got some work in fielding kicks during the special teams session.

Our first look at QB1 David Mills who is set for his second season with the Texans.

Texans fans were excited to see the players take the field this morning.

We spotted a familiar face and a Texans legend out at practice this morning.

Texans GM Nick Caserio spoke with the media ahead of practice.

Watch his full press conference here.

Gates opened at 7 a.m. but fans began lining up before that this morning.

KHOU 11's Daniel Gotera is out at training camp with complete coverage this morning.

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